The move is aimed at supporting economically struggling media outlets in an age of digital consumption. But critics say it will lead to greater media consolidation and the loss of independent voices.
The regulations, passed in 1975, prevent any single company from owning both a full-power TV station in a given market and a daily newspaper at the same time.
“The marketplace is nothing like it was in 1975,” Pai told House lawmakers Wednesday, arguing that the restriction on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership was outdated. “The FCC’s rules still presume the market is defined by pulp and rabbit ears.”